Determining Book Genres

Sometimes it is difficult to know what genre a book is, so here is a helpful guide in determining it:

Classics
Stories that have withstood the test of time and remain popular over a long period of years, due to literary quality or a sense of universal appeal. Simply stated, it's a book that stays in print! Copyright is approximately before 1955.

Picture Books
A book where at least half of the value of the story is in the illustrations. Most are 32 pages long, have full page illustrations on each page turn, and have a minimum amount of text.

Traditional
Stories that are passed down through the generations by word of mouth. They have no "original" author. Examples include fairy tales, folk tales, fables, mythology, legends, and Bible stories.

Fantasy
If you ask yourself, "Could this book really have happened on the date it was published?" and the answer is "No", it is a fantasy. Science Fiction (also Fantasy) is set in the future, often not on planet earth, and frequently uses advanced technology.

Poetry
A carefully chosen set of words, often using rhyme or pattern or rhythm or meter, which evokes imagination or feeling. Children's poetry 1) has children as the main characters, 2) is about topics that are of interest to children, and 3) touches the "child" in you!

Realistic Fiction
If you ask yourself, "Could this book really have happened on the date it was published?" and the answer is "Yes", it is a Realistic Fiction. The story did NOT actually happen, but it could have.

Historical Fiction
Half non-fiction, half realistic fiction. Historical period, events, people, and places are all researched and accurate. Families, main characters, conversation, and small events may be made up to add interest.

Non-Fiction
Information text. Factual material. All true. Biographies, autobiographies, historical books, how-to books, informational books about any topic of interest.



Definitions courtesy Kathy Dunbar